What can fish do for you? So, Bugs Bunny says it’s carrots, but a study reports yet another good reason to eat fish. The report shows that for women whose diet was rich in omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish) were at significantly lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
The Harvard Women’s Health Study followed 39,876 women in midlife. In 1993 at the start of the study, all the participants filled out detailed food-frequency questionnaires and after about 10 years of follow-up, it was discovered that 235 of the women had developed macular degeneration. This is a progressive eye disease that is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly.
However women who reported eating one or more servings of fish per week, according to the analysis in Archives of Ophthalmology, were 42 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (A.M.D.) than those who ate less than a serving each month. The data was adjusted by researchers for other factors such as smoking which can lead to the disease. It appears the most benefit comes from eating dark-meat fish: think salmon, sardines, bluefish, swordfish, and mackerel. Canned tuna also produced good results.
The lead author and associate professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. William G. Christen, told The New York Times, “We know that inflammatory processes are involved in A.M.D., and the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids do have an anti-inflammatory effect”.